When I first started my business back in 2011 I put in countless hours marketing and advertising my services. I went door to door distributing newsletters and postcards, I put business cards on car windshields, and I went to business networking events. This work was exhausting and I didn’t see much return on my time investment.
Luckily, things have shifted since then and today customers come to me instead of me having to go to them. What changed? Out of frustration with how hard it was to make money and bring in new clients I started to focus on building my professional online brand. Instead of spending the day going door to door I focused on guest blogging on prominent platforms. Instead of going to random networking events I started to build a network on Linkedin. And instead of putting business cards on car windshields I worked on my SEO that directed more traffic to my site.
Once I became more efficient with my marketing and advertising, many more people started to find me. Since they had found me through either an article I wrote or word of mouth from a client or a Linkedin connection, they already had a certain level of trust and confidence in my ability to help them. The ROI from boosting my online professional brand didn’t compare to my old way of getting the word out about my services.
Whether you are an employee or an entrepreneur there is great benefit in continuously improving and updating your professional profile. Here are some ways you can achieve it.
Guest blog for prominent platforms
There are two benefits in getting your name in places like the Huffington Post, Addicted2Success, Thrive Global, to name a few. Firstly, when these big sites link to your website, it sends a signal to Google that your site is important. It can boost your SEO tremendously and your site will rank higher on online search results, increasing your visibility to your target audience. The second benefit is big sites and platforms take content from each other. So sometimes I noticed other websites wrote articles about my articles and they referenced me and gave me a linkback to my site. This further spread the word about my services and gave a nice boost to my website ranking.
Get out and speak at events
In a few instances, speaking at what I thought would be a low attended event brought in much business for me, not just from the event attendees buying my services but also inviting me to speak at their company’s events. You never know who you have in your audience and getting yourself out there through speaking creates a huge opportunity for yourself and your business.
Keep everything as up-to-date as possible
This includes your LinkedIn, website, and resume. Make sure it’s easy for people to contact you through your website and LinkedIn profile. You never know who is looking for your services. I have received many job offers on LinkedIn and I make sure to tweak my profile on a regular basis to ensure everything is up to date.
Focusing on continuous learning and improvement, and sharing what I learn with others has brought me the business success I never thought possible. Although the process is slow and it takes a lot of effort and courage to put yourself out there, if you are serious about growing your business or professional profile, you must find ways to overcome your fear and start getting outside your comfort zone. Opportunities are waiting for you.